Pioneer VSX-1120-K

The Pioneer VSX-1120-K is the top of the range of the mid-priced ‘VSX series’ AV receivers. It has all the virtues and finesse of a flagship product but with a price tag that is nearer to the ground than the stratosphere.

If past experiences with Pioneer receivers are anything to go by, the VSX-1120-K should deliver a solid performance that will satisfy even the most ardent home theater and music aficionado. And it comes with an impressive and forward looking feature set that will see you comfortably through the 3D evolution.

Latest Update: The Pioneer VSX-1120-K is Now on Sale at

Pioneer VSX-1120-K AV Receiver

Pioneer VSX-1120-K AV Receiver

Design and Connectivity

The 1120-K retains the same glossy look of previous Pioneer receivers. It is solidly built and looks gorgeous even in the dark with its subtle blue power lights.

The front panel layout is simple and functional with the power button and the input selector buttons on the left and large master volume control on the right. There’s a headphone jack, USB and iPod connections, plus a HDMI input for easy connection of laptops or camcorders equipped with HDMI outputs.

At the back there are 5 HDMI 1.4a inputs, 2 component video inputs, 2 composite video inputs, 3 optical and 1 coaxial digital audio inputs, and a number of analog audio inputs. In addition you get an Ethernet port, a Sirius input jack, and a port for Bluetooth adapter. Speaker outputs can be configured for a 7.1 system or 5.1 with second zone (or configured as height/wide speakers). This is the only model in the VSX series that comes with multi-channel pre-outs for external amplification.

There’s a RS-232 port that gives the custom installer much more flexibility in integrating the VSX-1120-K into a control system. The RS-232 port is used for direct control of high end home automation systems.


The Pioneer VSX-1120-K comes with useful and practical features. You get 6 of the latest HDMI 1.4a inputs that support 3D playback and ARC (Audio Return Channel). On-screen menu has been upgraded to a nicer looking full color GUI. It is now network capable via an Ethernet port. It is now possible to use your PC (or Mac) to directly control the receiver for some features such as setting up Internet radio presets and renaming inputs. You will also have access to thousands of internet radio stations.

For the 1120-K, Pioneer is using the more expensive Marvell® Qdeo™ chipset instead of the Anchor Bay ABT1015 used in the lower models. The Marvel chipset upconverts everything including digital HDMI signals to 1080p.

Here’s a summary of its features:

  • HDMI ver 1.4a specification for next generation of 3-D video playback
  • Supports high-definition audio formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIz adds front “height” channels for a more immersive experience.
  • Pioneer-tuned Marvell® Qdeo™ video processor providing the highest quality video switching for superb clarity and accuracy that was only previously found in flagship Elite models.
  • PureCinema processing for 3D noise reduction and Y/C color separation.
  • Pioneer Precision Quartz Locking System (PQLS) utilizes the digital clock in the A/V receiver to exactly synchronize the signal passage from a compatible Pioneer Blu-ray player. This creates absolute synchronized and jitter-free playback of all advanced audio formats. The VSX-1120-K features multi-channel PQLS for jitter-free playback of CDs, DVDs and blu-ray discs.
  •  Pioneer's Free iPhone App Turns Your iPhone into a Powerful ControlCenter

    Pioneer's Free iPhone App Turns Your iPhone into a Powerful ControlCenter

  • Works With iPhone Certification – you can enjoy music with iTunes album art, movies, downloaded TV shows from iTunes, photos, web content such as YouTube. An included USB/composite video cable makes connecting your iPhone to share your favorite media easy – and your iPhone charges automatically when connected. Unlike other receiver lines, there’s no need to buy a separate dock to enjoy your iPhone with your home theater. This included cable also works with most generations of iPod Classic, Nano, and iPod Touch. Pioneer’s iControlAVR (downloaded separately via Apple’s App Store) gives you total control over your home theater sound.
  • Bluetooth Ready – you can add a Pioneer AS-BT100 Bluetooth adapter (sold separately) to release your music stored on your iPhone, Blackberry, or Android smartphone as well as other Bluetooth-enabled sources like laptops.
  • Advanced Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration system (MCACC) provides a near studio-quality, multi-channel listening experience customized specifically to your listening environment.
  • Advanced Sound Retriever (AIR) enhances audio playback of compressed audio such as WMA, MP3 and AAC to near CD quality sound. This technology also enhances the audio quality of SIRIUS Satellite Radio and can realize an upper limit frequency of 20kHz with compressed audio playback for surprising audio richness and clarity even from “lossy” digital audio sources.
  • Auto Level Control equalizes volume level differences between tracks playing from an iPhone or iPod or during television programming.

Bottom Line

The Pioneer VSX-1120-K is for those who wants top of the line features and performance with the flexibility of upgrading to a more powerful system by adding external amplifiers.

No one yet knows whether 3D playback will become mainstream or whether it will be acceptable for home viewing with everyone in the family donning 3D glasses, but in the event that is does, the VSX-1120-K is ready for it.

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